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tv   The Daily Rundown  MSNBC  December 28, 2011 9:00am-9:59am EST

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founder issue. >> at least they are not saying it publicly. >> on your question about floirnd where does it come from, we learn it is a combination of the word founder and flounce. >> nothing to do with the fish? >> flounder. >> nothing to do with the fish. >> what a disappointment. >> learn something every day. stick around for the daily run down hosted today by chris cillizza. see you tomorrow. brrr. things get frosty and nasty between mitt romney and newt gingrich, with less than a week to go to the iowa caucuses. we will talk to a senior romney strategist in just minutes. what about the rest of the field? will they go after the front-runners or turn their fire on each other? we will have live reports from the perry and bachmann bus hours in iowa. other side of the world, north korea buries its former leader with his son and successor leading the way. good morning from washington it is wednesday, december 28, 2011 this is the daily run down.
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i'm chris cillizza in for chuck todd who is on the road in iowa for an interview with newt gingrich which you will see right here on tomorrow's show. but let's get right to the first read of the morning. newt gingrich's chance to make a splash in iowa maybe slipping away. despite vowing a state positive an avalanche of negative ads appears to be taking a toll on the former speaker and prompted him to lash out at the other top tier candidates. >> all i'd say, mitt, is if you want to run a negative campaign and attack people, at least be man enough to own t you look at ron paul's total record of systemic avoid dance of reality and you look at his news letters and then you look at his ads, his ads are about as accurate as his newsletters. >> nbc news political reporter is here. dom, seemed like newt trying to get all the negative in at once. it looks -- we were looking at the clear politic which is does a polling average of where
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everyone has gone. what is interesting about it, if you look at the gingrich number in iowa, it looks similar to the path bachmann took and looks kind of similar to the path herman cain took, way up and now starting to precipitously drop down. do you buy it? is there anything he can do in the last six dies change it? >> it may be too late. see what happens. he doubled his ad buy yesterday. now instead of being outspent eight to one on ads, he is being outspent four to one. better but not great. a week from the caucuses. one of the dangers for gingrich's surge a lot of people talked about, he may have peaked too early and then all of a sudden, started to look like maybe that was the case, he didn't have the infrastructure, didn't have thing ortion to possibly keep up. >> you know, it's amazing, we will move on, but amazing that you can be in the front of the pack a month before a vote and you peak too early. it shows -- his own campaign ads
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still are positive but is there a pro-gingrich super pac, strong america now, sent out direct mail with some very, very heated language. i will quote from it, it kind of shocking, romney is the second most dangerous man in america and will perpetuate obama's slide into financial crisis. don't let romney backers mislead you. i assume they think that barack obama is the first most dangerous man in america but still, striking language. is it too little too late and this will kind of thing work? it is a mail not tv, direct mail is helpful but not a television ad. the right tone? >> for the rest rick, most dangerous man in america, i don't think barack obama or mitt romney is on the most wanted top
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ten. >> the rhetoric is a little farflung. i think is a little ironic considering newt gingrich had told mitt romney to control the negativity coming from his up super pac saying these are staff theirs know. >> tell them to stop. >> tell them to stop. gingrich suspect doing the same. his campaign would say they start it had, we are just trying to hit back. >> in fact, what they said. facts respect negative ads. okay. quickly, because i don't want to leave him out, he may well be the from the runner iowa, ron paul. gingrich went very hard at ron paul, wouldn't vote for him, unelectable s there a benefit to newt gingrich from attacking ron paul? can he peel away ron paul's supporters six days out? >> unlikely. ron paul supporters, these respect movable people this is not a persuadable group of folks, they are pretty locked n poll after poll shows they are the most ardent backers of paul. his intense sit very deep.
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now, he may have a ceiling, paul himself, on whether or not he can get the nomination in a wider, you know, electoral fight whether it is in new hampshire, south carolina, his people can really organize around caucuses, around straw polls in particular and, you know, i just think it is going to be very cult, seems like newt gingrich has triing an lated out here, you think about iowa in the sense, like santorum set up yesterday, you have got these evangelical voters will are a key group who looks like santorum is getting a lot of the backing of from bob van der plats and other folks, now, newt gingrich now not get that establish vote, he doesn't have a third path. >> not a good moment i don't think for newt gingrich, amazing peaked too soon, love the ron paul point. attacking ron paul may not do anything, those people will be with ron paul come heck or high water. domenico month narrow. thank you. six days away from the iowa caucus, the romney campaign is fending off ron paul's rise in the polls and fresh attacks over
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romney's record. joining me, senior adviser with the romney campaign, eric turn strom. no surprise tour, the dnc in iowa, democratic party, released a memo today. i want to read part of it and get to you react. mitt romney niece if iowa middle class families are had a real chance to kick the tires and check under the hood they would not like what they had to see. 17-year political career of waffling on the issues and decisions that have left the middle class behind. that's from mayor rt ryback and the iowa democratic party chairwoman. this is a criticism in '08 came up a lot in the primary, romney is essentially coreless, he lacks sort of a central belief system. how damaging and how do you guys push black against it? >> well, i don't think anybody should be surprised, chris, that the democratic national committee is going to be critical of mitt romney. i actually had the privilege of serving with governor romney during the four years of public
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service in the commonwealth of massachusetts and his record is a conservative record. home have questions about how he would govern as president should take a look at how he governed in massachusetts. he fought to lower spending. he balanced the budget. he cut taxes 19 times. he fought to teach english in our schools. he enforced the laws against illegal immigration. his record is as a conservative and that is how he will govern as president. >> now, eric, one thing that he has acknowledged switching positions on is abortion and become a little bit of an issue lately. i just want to play a little bit of sound about romney's position and we will come back and talk about it. >> i believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country. i have since the time that my mom took that position when she rap in 1970 as a u.s. senate candidate. i believe that since roe v wade has been the law for 20 years in we should sustain and support it and i sustain and support that law and the right of a woman to make that choice.
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that was from an october 1994 debate when he was running against ted keep day, sure you have heard that clip before. yesterday we got word in iowa there are text messages go out, call the number and basically raises questions whether mitt romney is indeed now pro-life. how do you anticipate those questions? because for a lot of evangelicals in iowa who are making their minds up it is a central core issue. >> you know, this is an issue that mitt romney dealt with seven or eight years ago now and when he was governor of massachusetts, he actually had to deal with the issue of life when he was presented with an embryonic cloning bill and he studied that bill thoroughly and he veet need embryonic cloning bill. at the conclusion of that process, he said he is now more firmly pro-life. look, this is a path that has been travelled by ronald reagan and george herbert walker bush and henry hyde before mitt romney and i think one of the attractive features of the pro-life movement is that they
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welcome converts to their cause. so mitt romney's not gonna apologize for having become pro-life and he will govern as a pro-life president. >> now, eric, in virginia, which suspect until march 6th, but this virginia, only yourselves and ron paul made the ballot and governor romney had a little something to say, poking former house speaker gingrich. here's what he had to say and we will come back and talk about it. >> you know, i think you compare that to pearl harbor? i think it's more like lucille ball at the chocolate factory. you got to get it organized. >> lucille ball at the chocolate factory. what does this say, eric? again, i said virginia isn't until march 6th, but is this telling? do you think it is telling and something for republicans to worry about, they nominate newt gingrich, that he was not able to make admittedly high bar but still to make the bar, to
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qualify in the virginia primary? >> yeah, i think it is a major issue, chris there are two things that republican voters want in their nominee. first is someone who has experience in the economy because jobs is the number one issue. second, because they sense that barack obama is vulnerable, they want somebody who can beat him. in newt gingrich, there has been a troubling series of events he filed get on the ballot in missouri, failed to get on the ballot in virginia, his home state. yesterday, we got the news he is going to end this year, his campaign will end the year in debt. look, you know, this is like a baseball fan watching a game and growing frustrated because a require misses a steal sign or outfielder fails to hit the relay man or a hitter fails to lay down a bunt. you have to be able to execute on the fundamentals if you want to whip baseball games and you want to win camp pains. and barack obama, one thing about barack obama, he has a
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campaign machine. they are well organized, they are highly disciplined, the only way we are going to beat is a with a highly disciplined well organized campaign on the republican side and afraid that newt gingrich can't give us that. >> now, eric, quickly, new england has proposed a one-on-one 90-minute debate with governor romney, governor romney has to -- why does he not want to debate newt gingrich before the iowa caucuses? >> first, i don't think newt gingrich should be throwing out debate challenges if he can't get on the ballot. you got to be able to get on the ballot about before you can start issuing debate demands like that debated him 10 or 11 times, two more debates coming up in new hampshire plier to the new hampshire primary. and this is not the time to be excluding the other candidates. we should hear from everybody. there's no reason to narrow this race down to just newt gingrich and mitt romney there are plenty of well-qualified, competent, capable candidates who should be standing offen that same with them. >> eric fern strom, like a good
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northeasterner, channeling the baseball metaphor for politics. much appreciated. >> thanks. on the road again, the candidates are literally revving up their engines, chris cross the state in the final days before the iowa caucus and we are right there with them. plus, desperate measures in rick perry sues to get on the virginia primary ballot. and the death of a dictator. tens of thousands of north koreans turn out for an elaborate fair well to their dear leader. but first, a look ahead at the president's schedule. i would love to be in hawaii right now. a lot. you're watching "the daily rundown." it's only on msnbc. my name is robin. i'm a wife, i'm a mom... and chantix worked for me. it's a medication i could take and still smoke, while it built up in my system. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix is proven to help people quit smoking. it reduces the urge to smoke. some people had changes in behavior,
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if you're in iowa today, would you have a hard time not running into a candidate. between the six of them, they are making over 30 stops, with minnesota congresswoman michelle bachmann leading the way with 11. pretty much one every hour. rick perry and mitt romney's days have begun while ron paul gets back on the iowa trail this afternoon. from iowa to virginia, all but two of the major candidates in virginia have failed to get on that ballot. newt gingrich has talked about a write-in campaign that doesn't seem likely but rick perry is taking a more direct approach. he is suing you the state for what his campaign calls unconstitutional restrictions on ballot access. the terrific correspondent is embedded with the perry campaign and carrie dann joins me from iowa. fill us in more about the perry lawsuit in virginia. what's this about and can --
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will it work? >> hey, chris, how are you, from urban dale, iowa. it was a big fwloert perry contention not to make the ballot in virginia. you get 10,000 independent signatures to make that ballot. restrict the amendment [ inaudible ] constitutional rights both per rained the voters. they say he has a first amendment right to be on the ballot, to have voters say what they think about who should be the next president of the united states. it is a little bit of a tricky issue for perry, because on the stump, he is very vocal about activist vum judges, invol -- j little bit of a gamble for him. it seems like a bit of a long shot for this to happen. what is important for the perry campaign, they are pointing out there are other candidates, including newt gingrich who didn't meet this requirement as well and those requirements are
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too stringent and should be changed. >> as a side point, thank you, carrie, restrictions that 10,000 signatured required, the candidates knew about it a very high bar but not new. let ask you -- virginia is not until march 6th, focus on january 3rd, iowa caucuses, rick perry. you have been spending and he has been spending a lot of time traveling around iowa, i think it is a 44-city tour these in the midst of on a bus. do you have any sense, carrie, you have been with him a long time, you have any sense he is getting momentum? are there bigger crowds, message resounding, he makes his closing argument or feel like status quo?
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she has held more than 200 events in the state since starting her campaign that is 200. for her closing argument, she is telling voters she is the true conservative in this race. >> we are hearing that from some of the candidates on the ground now, co-opting the language of the tea party, yet they are as far from the tea party as they can possibly be. of all the candidates running, i am the one with the up available
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proven track record of a clear 100% consistent conservative. >> nbc news embed a jamie know virginia grad has been traveling with the bachmann campaign and joins me by phone. any sense she is starting to build any momentum as you follow her day to day on the ground in the state? [ inaudible [ inaudible ] obvious the campaign is trying to reclaim the magic from the days in july and august, replete with the campaign bus, which is back, which has been away a couple of months. music in some cases before she arrives. for all her attacks on newt
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gingrich and mitt romney and others, the voters i talked to giving me the same responses as they gave me in august, we like her for her values, we like her for what she stands for, for who she is, a person in the midwest, their responses to my questions haven't necessarily changed. >> jamie novogrod with the bachmann campaign. thank you. in north korea, tens of thousands of mourners turned out in nasty weather to say good-bye to-to-their dear leader, kim jong-il. >> reporter: the north koreans kept everyone in the dark about the details for kim jong-il's state funeral, in the end, they pulled off a remarkably dramatic funeral procession. under heavy snowfall, a long line of vehicles made its way across the capital, pyongyang, could have berg 25 miles and lasting about three hours. it was led at the front by two vehicles in particular, one, a limousine that bore the portrait of the late kim jong-il, known by his people as the dear leader and another vehicle, a hearse,
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believed to carry his remains. it was also accompanied by his son and successor, kim jong you up, followed by his uncle, the man everyone believes is sharing power with him during this difficult transition. thousands of people, thousands of north core reyaps who turned out, many in military uniform in the main square but also civilians lining both sides of the streets of the capital. many closeup shots, the cameras coming in tight to show people mourning, grieving, crying for their dear leader, asking him to return, telling everyone that he had given them everything. it is worth reminding everyone it is not clear how much of this was staged. the pictures could only come direct from north korean state television so we haven't been able to verify how much of this was genuine or, in fact, put on. back to you. can wall street end the year on a high note in the market run down is next. plus, iran threatens to block a critical oil supply route, choking off nearly a
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fifth of the world's oil. but first, today's trivia question straight from the pages of the almanac of american politics. who is the only president buried in the national cathedral? anti daily rundown this one is pretty easy. got to be foonts trigger. oh it's clearance time!
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wore just minute -- we are just minutes away from the opening bell. julia boresson here. >> futures are mixed. the s & p 500 open slightly higher.
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yesterday, the markets closed near flat. the lightest trading day of the year. the dow slipping. the u.s. refresh she stopped short of calling china a currency manipulator but criticized the country for not moving quick enough to reform exchange rates and chided japan for jump nothing kur seinecy markets to stem the end's rise. unusual for the u.s. to criticize japan in this matter. one more thing, keep a quick eye on morgan stanley stock today, the bank is cutting 580 jobs from its four offices in new york city. back to you. >> thanks, julia. could mitt romney wrap up this race in the next week in the very latest from iowa coming up. while back in washington, democrats front defensive, how will nebraska senator's ben nelson's retirement shake up the balance of power? a daily run down look at the month that changed the course of american history. you're watching the daily
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back with the daily run down, i'm chris cillizza in for chuck todd this morning. leer some other stories making headlines. iran's navy chief is repeating government threats that his country could close down the straight of hormuz if the west puts sanctions on iranian oil shipments. despite the threat, oil prices remained relatively stable today and countries in the gulf said they would be able to offset any loss. after a three-month break, former egyptian president hosni mubarak was back in court today to face charges linked to the death of 800 anti-government protesters. the hearing for the 83-year-old lasted only a few hours before being adjourned until next week. connecticut authorities say a bag of fireplace ashes started a christmas morning fire that killed three little girls and their grandparents. firefighters rushed into the home twice but were forced out
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because of the intense heat. from north korea to iran, the nix president who ever is that is, will face massive security threats. on december 7, 1941, president roosevelt was at the helm when this nation was forever changed n a new book, author craig surely tracks that transformation and the less as soon as of pearl harbor. chuck todd recently sat down with shirley and began by asking him about the genesis of the book. >> what i wanted to do, chuck, was to take the reader and try to put them in the moment and see what america was going through in that historic moment, the 1st through the 31st eyes of the parents, grand parents or great grandparents. many wonderful book written about franklin roosevelt, eleanor roosevelt, the cabinet earthquake the war department, what was going on with the gems in that period but never a from the perspective of the american people ultimatelying the ones
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asked to make the sacrifice. that is what i try i had to a much accomplish. >> the morning of december 7th, isolation of america was at peace, december 8th, internationalist america was at war and became forever an altered country. the defining moniker of the country majority moving from an isolationist point of view. >> yeah. we go -- that is really the bright line, december 7th, between the america of the past and the america of the future. you know, from the time of washington, 'cause he in his farewell -- >> it was not a state that was attacked. think about it to this day, we look back on it hawaii is a state, it was attacked this is sort of a -- >> it was a territory. >> this is kind of a remote territory. a good point because very few people in america on december 7th could find hawaii on a map. there were people who thought hawaii was off of new jersey. you know, one congressman several days after said pearl harbor should be in the middle of america where it belongs. >> interesting, there is also the way you wrote this, made me think of 9/11. >> right. >> you talk about the impact on
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washington. it was changed radically and forever, machine gun nests went up in all of the federal buildings, armed guards with fixed bayonets were posted at the entrance to all federal buildings. the white house gets were closed, the first time, members of congress british ud i.d. cards to enter cap to that is every day. >> it wasn't that washington was an open city. there was a gate around the white house but the gates themselves were open. >> could you have walked in. >> anybody could have walked up, knocked on the door. the congress was utterly and completely open, including the west facade. i used to jog up those steps which had been closed since 9/11 and never been reopened. but washington did become an armed camp after december 7th very quickly, guard towers put on the white house lawn. >> walk me through sort of you talk about america culturally, it was -- i mean, you had your washington, you had -- what were the average folks in the midwestic? >> they were not thinking about
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war in europe and they really weren't thinking about war in the pacific. what they were thinking about december 6th, they were listening to the radio they were listening to bob hope and shirley temple, listening to the local programming, local farm reports, local news reports. that night when they were going to the movies, they were, the average american went to the movies twice a week. >> how about that. >> going to see the maltese falcon, going to see dumbo, they were going to see meet john doe or citizen cain or another movie called international squadron starring ronald reagan. >> two years later, they went to the movie, every -- >> everything had a war theme. baton, back to want, they died with their boots on, everything had a war theme and every movie alsoism mored america to buy war bonds. the growing tension with the japanese. you sort of get into that in almost a personal way. walk me through that. >> well, they had taken on -- there had been a culture that
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had grown up in japan the 20s and 30s, become increasingly militaristic. they had invaded manchuria, invaded east china, put in over 100,000 troops. >> never mind the war. >> exactly. they also attacked the russian fleet in vladivostok without declaring war first, becoming increasingly militaristic and the tripart tied pact with nazi germany and fascist italy. our concern was their treatment of indo china, of the civilians, indochina and china, our negotiations with japan were not about keeping us out of war of japan but it was about getting japan to withdraw their forces from asia. >> all right, craig sharely, the book december 1941 and it is, like i said, may be daunting but it is not at all it is these days in the life, every chanter is a day. i love sort of in the moment history like this congratulations. >> thank you so much. >> thanks for coming on.
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>> you bet. >> that was chuck todd's recent conversation with author craig shirley. now, up next, the expectations game, mitt rom think? making sure everyone knows he doesn't expect to win iowa, but what's really going on behind the scenes? as chuck would say, it's our hump day panel, up next. but first, the white house soup of the day. chicken noodle. i feel like there is a lot of colds going around that might be good. that sounds pretty good, though i would like to eat a hamburger for lunch every day keeps me healthy. you are watching "the daily rundown," only on msnbc. ♪ sen♪ co-signed her credit card - "buy books, not beer!" ♪ ♪ut the second at she shut the door ♪ ♪ girl started blowing up their credit score ♪ ♪ she bought a pizza party for the whole dorm floor ♪ ♪ hundred pounds of makeup at the makeup store ♪ ♪ and a ticket down to spring break in mexico ♪
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>> it's a girl. >> daily flashback with those words, dr. howard jones announced the birth of america's
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first so called test tube baby, 5 pound 12 ounce elizabeth jordan carr first successful use of in-vitro fertilization in the u.s. today, she turns 30. happy birthday, elizabeth. thank you for making me feel old. mitt romney is sounding more confident about his prospects in iowa knowing that if he wins, this republican race could be over sooner rather than later. >> i want do well in all the states and get a good start but i really can't set expectation a couple of weeks ago, office distant third in iowa and you just don't know what's gonna happen in this process. >> let's bring in our panel who always knows what's gonna happen in this process. a senior editor at the national review and columnist for bloomberg view and app kornblut is my colleague, reporter for the "washington post" and john stanton a staff writer for roll call. rue mesh, let's start out, it feels like, these things all feel, we are flying relatively
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blind, not enough polling out there at least for me. it feels as though we spent last week talking about ron paul, now this week talking about mitt romney in iowa. the same challenges structurally remain for mitt romney, social conner is vat trifs skeptical, not that much time in the state. do you think he can win? >> i think he can win. i think that the romney camp spain trying very hard to manage expectation and not look -- make it look as though they think they are gonna win in iowa. >> if we get any votes we will be happy. >> we can come in seventh. there are six capped dat. >> just started campaigning in iowa. >> now, app, he -- mitt romney spent a lot of time talking about iowa and not president obama. this was billed as a closing argument for mitt romney in iowa, listen to a little bit of what he had to say and come back and talk about t. >> gone is the hope and change candidate of davenport. gone is the candidate who would heal the nation.
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instead, the campaigner in chief divides americans engages in class warfare and resorts to distortion and the demagogry. once barack obama appealed to our better angels, now he demonizes our fellow americans. >> so it is not all that surprising but the strategy here is act like you're the nominee, correct? in some ways, obama and the democratic national committee playing into it responding regularly to romney. >> yeah, well, this is -- they are actually operating on two levels, the romney campaign here, the one happened, yes, act like the nominee, talk -- make all republicans happy by talking about the democrat as opposed to attacking other republican but let's not forget also obama is a very well known figure in iowa, he campaigned in the state a lot, four years ago it is a swing state, it is going to be an important swing state in this next -- in 2012, so, yes, they are also -- this is their national strategy, act like the nominee but also very iowa
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specific. >> the double whammy. you can attack the republican field and you get the bonus of iowa and it is going to be a swing state. okay, john, i know the romney campaign is down playing ex-spec ache, it but is there a real possibility, we very rarely see the same guy, particularly work out, in the republican primary or democratic primary. george w. bush wins iowa, loses new hampshire. if mitt romney wins iowa and loses new hampshire, is the race over? >> fess able to pull off those two difficult to see how anybody does the electoral math to win after that. >> quick follow-up. if ron paul whips iowa and mitt romney whips new hampshire, are we still going to go -- go through super tuesday or -- you know, because that -- newt gingrich and rick perry, that's
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bad news if ron paul whips iowa. can that -- can it still keep going that long? >> sure, i think so look at south carolina, if, say, rick perry and newt gingrich is able to take south carolina that could then throw things off. once you get into super tuesday, you know, ron paul is going to stay there no matter what. i don't think he is going to stop. >> and south carolinaens always like to point out, since they moved to the front of the process, every time, i think since 80, whoever has won south carolina gone on to win the nomination. they will covet that stash. rue mesh, from the sublime, i suppose, to the ridiculous, joe arpaio, well known controversial sheriff from arizona was in iowa this morning, iowa, let me emphasize, iowa this morning and here's what he had to say. >> great state of iowa, was it the buckeyes -- what are they? what are they called? oh, hawkeyes. >> um, didn't get briefed properly. this is not a big deal, what it
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gets to i think, is all of these people have their surrogates out. i got a big list from mitt romney the other day aaron shock, i'm sure no one in iowa knows, a congressman from illinois, going around the state. does any of this surrogate stuff matter at all or is it just ways to fill up our pages and our websites until the vote? >> well, i think that surrogates tend to matter most when they say something spectacularly bad. >> thank you, joe arpaio. >> that doesn't quite rise to the level. but the candidates sure act as though it matters. you know, political scientists keep saying endorsements don't matter but the candidates sure keep wanting to get them. >> remarkable. in a way, we have seen mitt romney, rue mesh mentioned he rolled out endorsements, chris christie, tim pawlenty, george h. w. bush, he favors him. however you slice that. does this establish romney as
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establishment and if he doesn't win iowa is it the weight of that turns and crushes him? >> potentially. let's not forget he rolled a lot of these endorsements or favor abilitities of bush out when gingrich seemed he was on the rise, a moment you saw the establishment collectively turning toward romney. that also tends to happen in the final weeks before the voting begins. this is a national time for that i think on balance is probably a good thing. there's no sort of one outside insurgent. what we saw four years ago is a battle between outsiders and the establishment and the insiders there's no -- there's no sort of dichotomy that way now. i think it probably does help. >> newt gingrichs a outside. we will be back, rue mesh, app and john. first, trivia time, who is the only president buried in the national cathedral in the answer, president woodrow wilson, who was born on this day in 1856. every year on december 28th, a military honor gashed lays a wreath at his tomb in the national cathedral. see, this show is educational,
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it is not just fun. we will be right back with more from our panel. you are watching "the daily rundown," only on msnbc. [ me an] it's easy to see what subaru owners care about. ♪ that's why we created the share the love event. get a great deal on a new subaru and 250 dollars goes to your choice of five charities. ♪ with your help, we can reach 20 million dollars by the end of this, our fourth year. [ female announcer ] get 0 percent apr financing on select models for thirty-six months and we'll donate two-hundred and fifty dollars to your choice of five charities. now through january 3rd.
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democratic senator ben nelson's decision to retire is giving republicans a golden opportunity to pick up his seat and giving democrats new reason to worry they won't be able to hold onto their senate majority in 2012. let's bring back our panel. okay, john. republicans rightly are touting this as nebraska. this was going to be a hard seat to hold. >> the biggest impact is 2013 is hairy reid no longer has to deal with ben nelson frankly. there was very little chance he was going to win this, especially after his bad handling of the cornhusker
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kickback and the health care debate. instead of owning it -- >> that's what we're supposed to do. >> he sort of backed away from it and then he voted against the bill. republicans automatic knew they had him on the ropes then. i don't think anything changes. >> privately republicans i talk to largely agree with you. ann, the name that comes up, i feel like it's a name that comes up every time, i compared it to charlie brown trying to kick the football and lucy always pulls it away, stormer senator bob kerrey. someone who has spent basically the last decade in new york. is bob kerrey the kind of democrat that can sell in a conservative state like nebraska. >> it was hard to see when he was in office. i think it's harder to see na now, especially in a year when president obama is going to have his own troubles in states that are -- forget red states like
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nebraska and states that are swing states. >> obama got 42% in nebraska in 2008. my guess is he does no better than that this time around. >> but it's not going to stop us because everyone knows bob kerrey and he's a delightful figure to cover. >> and returns e-mails at 2:00 a.m. from india. >> our favorite kind of -- >> hard to beat that if you're a reporter. >> could be jet lag. >> good point. i feel like everyone assumes and i think it might be too much of an assumption, assumes republicans are going to win back the senate. they only need three seats if they elect a republican president, they need four if obama is re-elected. they have so many seats, so many opportunities. is there an over confidence in the republican party? put nebraska and north dakota aside, both of which are going to be very tough, so that's two. you still have to get to four, let's say four. missouri, montana, ohio,
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florida. none of those are shoo-ins. is there an over confidence or an assumption that shouldn't be there. >> and there are a couple republican seats that could go democrat as in massachusetts, for example. >> good point. >> i think what nebraska and north dakota do is it gives them two likely republican pickups which they were already -- but nebraska now becomes a republican likely pickup without having to spend a lot of resources, frees up resources for missouri, florida, ohio. i think it really is going to depend a lot on the top of the ticket on the republican side. if there were republican wipeout, which you can't rule out, looks unlikely but you can't rule out, i think it's unlikely you take the senate. they do depend on national waves. >> look at 2006, 2008. in '08 democrats won every competitive senate race because obama was carrying. i think senate races are a little independent of the top of the ticket. shameless plugs, john? >> for my family in des moines.
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my reporter friends, my cousin josh works with my best friend pete and my other cousin works at zombie burger to typical. >> i'm going to be so boring by comparison. our colleagues at the "washington post" have been doing a great series on life under the drones. the latest installment is today. >> great pieces. absolutely. >> i am starting to read shaun trend's back "the lost majority." if you're a political junkie or there's a political junkie it your life, you should get this book. >> absolutely. anytime we can do book recommendations. on "the fix" we have best political books of 2011. if you need a last-minute or let's be honest a late christmas gift, go look. go buy. that's it for this edition of "the daily rundown." tomorrow on the show, chuck todd, the goateed one himself is live in iowa with his interview with newt gingrich.
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coming up it's chris "jansing & co." and then at 1:00 don't miss andrea mitchell reports. [ coughs ] what is this shorty? uh, tissues sir, i'm sick. you don't cough, you don't show defeat. give me your war face! raaah! [ male announcer ] halls. a pep talk in every drop. diarrhea, gas or bloating? get ahead of it! one phillips' colon health probiotic cap a day helps defend against digestive issues with three strains of good bacteria. hit me! [ female announcer ] live the regular life. phillips'. yeah, our low prices are even lower. we need to teach her how to walk. she is taking up valuable cart space. aren't you, honey? [ male announcer ] it's our biggest clearance event of the year where our prices are even lower.
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good morning. i'm chris jansing. a barrage of ads, mailings, bus tours, stump speeches. game on for the candidates in iowa. they're stopping at coffee shops, malls, pizza joints, mingling with the regular folks. well, iowa may not pick the winner of the nomination, but the contest will probably point to a sure loser, maybe two. besides rick perry, michele bachmann and rick santorum are all just holding on right now. a poor showing could force one second tier candidate to drop out. karen hunter and robert trainem, good morning to both of you. >> good morning. >> karen, these

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